Ben Smith

302 Flips | 10 Magazines | 3 Likes | 5 Following | 6 Followers | @chronicbeard | I'm a fan of stuff of all kinds...

Sounds crazy, but this wall of lava lamps keeps you protected from hackers

Computers are supposed to be predictable. In 99.9 percent of cases, that’s exactly what we want from them. The exception to that rule? When we’re …

San Francisco

Physicists Designed a Quantum Graph Search Technique That Matches Google

Researchers describe a fast new way of exploring complex data structures.<p>Google search relies on an algorithm known as PageRank. It's fairly easy to understand in principle, but implementing it is another matter. Figuring out how to search through all of the internet's pages is a hard problem, …

Tinkercad Circuits Code Blocks

Visual Programming for Arduino, powered by Scratch Blocks<p>Our newest feature in Tinkercad Circuits is visual code blocks–powered by Scratch Blocks!<p>We* …

D.C. court rules tracking phones without a warrant is unconstitutional

Law enforcement use of one tracking tool, the cell-site simulator, to track a suspect's phone without a warrant violates the Constitution, the D.C. …

Surveillance

Sometimes you need a pulsing red circle of data to understand how abnormally hot Earth is getting

Earth is constantly breaking heat records. The latest international State of the Climate report noted that 2016 was the hottest year on record, and NASA just announced that July 2017 tied with July 2016 as the hottest July on record. We’ve heard a variation on this theme, well, a few times: 16 of …

Global Warming

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.<p>One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an …

If you have ever had a problem grasping the importance of diversity in tech and its impact on society, watch this video https://t.co/ZJ1Je1C4NW

Tech’s Damaging Myth of the Loner Genius Nerd

The Google engineer who was fired last week over his memo wrote that most women were biologically unsuited to working in tech because they were more focused on “feelings and aesthetics than ideas” and had “a stronger interest in people rather than things.”<p>Many scientists have said he got the …

Computer Science: Posters

"No Stupid Questions: Ones and Zeroes"

I saw this, first by myself and then pointed out by @SwiftOnSecurity. It's this Dilbert cartoon<p>Thing is, it isn't. It can be an important …

Whiteboards

Interactive Map Shows Where You'd Pop Up If You Dug Straight Through The Earth

In most countries, people have a belief about where they'd end up if they dug their way through the center of the Earth and popped up on the other …

I Can't Show You How Pink This Pink Is

Snapchat

Dubai Police to deploy robotic patrols

Dubai: Months after Dubai unveiled the first flying taxis in the world, Dubai Police on Tuesday unveiled another believed world’s first — autonomous, …

5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

At TED U, Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do -- and why a little danger is good …

Kids

Program Sphero robots using Oval; a C-based language.

Get Started<p>Sphero created Oval as a subset of the C-language to communicate with our robots, and we now offer it to anyone in the world to use it as …

Trump Administration Orders Review Of Sage Grouse Protections

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced that regulations protecting the sage grouse – rules which have been subject to years of negotiation and controversy in Western states – are once again under review.<p>This puts the Greater Sage Grouse Conservation plan, finalized in 2015, in a state of …

I wrote THE BEST presidential briefing on global warming for Donald Trump

Given that no one seems to know what President Trump thinks about the reality of human-caused climate change, perhaps we can agree that it's about …

Someone trained a computer to invent names for paint colors, and it went totally nuts

Are you one of those people who rolls your eyes at the names of paint colors? “Egg shell and cream ARE BOTH WHITE I literally CAN’T TELL THE …

#606: Spreadsheets! : NPR One

Former Facebook engineer says women face more scrutiny there

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote “Lean In,” it launched a national movement around women’s leadership and what it takes to break glass …

Net Neutrality II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Late Night Television

Privacy and Security Aspects of the Ultrasound Ecosystem

Gimme some context!<p>Nowadays users often possess a variety of electronic devices for communication and entertainment. In particular, smartphones are …

Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing ‘Beacons’ You Can’t Hear

There are plenty of privacy-invading marketing ploys to worry about in life. Some examples are in your face, some are more subtle. And a relatively …

Apps

Meet the People Who Train the Robots (to Do Their Own Jobs)

SAN FRANCISCO — What if part of your job became teaching a computer everything you know about doing someone’s job — perhaps your own?<p>Before the machines become smart enough to replace humans, as some people fear, the machines need teachers. Now, some companies are taking the first steps, deploying …

Artificial Intelligence

Say What You Meme, Meme What You Say

How memes born of the black diaspora first came to represent a form of cultural belonging, and then betrayal.<p>Story by Jason Parham <br>Illustration by …

Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them

Can machines think – and, if so, can they think critically about race and gender? Recent reports have shown that machine-learning systems are picking up racist and sexist ideas embedded in the language patterns they are fed by human engineers. The idea that machines can be as bigoted as people is …

Machine Learning

American energy use, in one diagram

How much energy we use, what kind, and how much is wasted.<p>Spring brings new growth, new possibilities, and, best of all, a new spaghetti diagram from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) at the Department of Energy.<p>Every year, LLNL produces a new energy flow chart showing the sources of US …

We all thought having more data was better. We were wrong.

“Little data” is not exactly a sexy, attention-grabbing topic. But is more and bigger data really better?<p><i>A version of this essay was originally published at</i> <i>Tech.pinions</i><i>, a website dedicated to informed opinions, insight and perspective on the tech industry.</i><p>For years, the mantra in the world of …

These Amazing Maps Show How Wildlife Will Migrate to Survive Climate Change

For most animals, adapting to climate change won’t mean evolving new ways to stay cool—they’ll just pick up and move to cooler habitats. It’s how the …

Ecology